Millennials are great at having friends. In fact, some of us have over 500 of ’em.
We’re so connected that we know what Steve had for breakfast; what Mary wore to New Year’s Eve; what Kim did at the gym.
We weren’t even in the same room! In fact, we haven’t seen Steve, Mary or Kim in ages.
We’re out to dinner with friends and family and, instead of interacting with them, we’re messaging a friend in another state or down the street.
We Millennials are growing up in an era where being connected virtually has never not existed.
What began as innocently connecting with strangers in chat rooms and gleefully hearing the phrase, “You’ve got mail!” has morphed into so much more.
Are we better for it?
The latest statistics indicate that we definitely are not compared to previous generations.
- Almost as many people use Facebook as there are people in China, according to the Washington Post.
- Fifty-eight percent of adults have smartphones, says the Pew Research Center.
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
So basically we’re more connected, more stimulated and more constantly stimulated than ever before.
While there’s no definitive study that proves why Millennials are more anxious and lonely than their parents, here are 10 reasons why I think we are:
1. We don’t “fast” from food or harmful substances like our parents did…we fast from Facebook.
2. It’s just not possible to simply do ONE task at any given time. Millennials have to do at least five things at once.
3. Forget about exercising without electronics.
4. …the Wii and housework count as exercise, right?
5. We can’t sit still without some kind of noise or stimulation…for any length of time. A trip to an “out-of-service” area could potentially set off a panic attack.
6. We feel depressed if our Instagram failed to get “favorited” enough to turn into a digit.
7. Rather than getting together with a friend for coffee to complain about our spouse, our job, an unfair situation or an injustice in this world, we just update our status. (Don’t do it!)
8. Being “unfriended” feels more offensive than being dumped in high school.
9. Magazines used to make us feel fat. Now using the wrong filter on your phone does…or getting tagged in a friend’s unflattering photo.
10. An argument starts because of something your mom/best friend/sister/coworker/husband/girlfriend saw on your Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat account.
Let’s resolve to connect more genuinely with people in the new year and lay off the electronics a bit. Maybe then we Millennials will feel more connected, more fulfilled and less likely to quit Facebook.
Photo credits: Giphy.com, CDN.theatlantic.com